A fire broke out at a row house on Tuesday morning, killing five children and injuring two in the Lincoln-Larimer neighborhood in Pittsburgh. The fire was reported by neighbors at 1:20 a.m. Tuesday while most of the children were sleeping. The seven children were from two families, but they are all somehow related. Two eight-year-old boys escaped from the house, but the five children sleeping upstairs couldn’t make it out. They were found on the second floor, having died from smoke inhalation and carbon monoxide poisoning. Three children of the Holyfield family were killed including Daekia, 7; Cedano, 4; and Dezekiah, 3. The two other children were of the Rankin family, Azquel, 5, and Andre, 6.

The parents of these children, including 25-year-old Shakita Mangham, who has since hired an attorney, were not home at the time of the fire. Speculation over who was watching the children at the time has been in question. The mothers claim that a 17-year-old baby sitter was watching for them. Nobody knows the whereabouts of the mothers at the time of the fire, and they gave two similar sounding names of the girl. Police have since determined that there was no such person watching the children, and they were left home alone. However, charges against the parents will not be filed until after the children’s funerals.

Even more alarming is the fact that the fire started by kids playing with matches. Neighbors who are already outraged at the crime that plagues the neighborhood are even more upset by the senseless tragedy that has taken place. Friends of the family have placed stuffed animals, candles, balloons, and flowers in front of the damaged house which is set to be torn down.

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